Luke Walton: 'Frustrating' effort by team in worst loss in Lakers' history

ByTim MacMahon ESPN logo
Monday, January 23, 2017

DALLAS -- The Los Angeles Lakers' rebuilding project reached a new low Sunday afternoon with the most lopsided loss in franchise history, a 122-73 rout at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.

"We didn't show up to play, honestly, which is frustrating," first-year Lakers coach Luke Walton said after the 49-point drubbing. "Honestly, it's embarrassing for us as a team and for us as an organization, for our Laker fans that are so good to us.

"Again, at this point it is not about every night going out and winning. It is playing a certain style that allows you a chance to win while we are trying to build this thing. It's about getting better and building on games like our last game, and not being satisfied with it. ...

"The effort just wasn't there tonight, which I don't understand. I love our group of guys and I know we are going to bring it next game, but that's not who we are. It was frustrating tonight."

The previous worst margin of defeat in Lakers history was 48, which occurred in a 123-75 loss at Utah last March. This was the most lopsided game in the NBA this season.

The loss came on the 11-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant's historic 81-point performance against the Raptors, the second-most points scored by a single player in a game in NBA history.

The Mavericks (15-29) extended their winning streak in the series to 13 games, blowing the game open by outscoring the Lakers 38-11 in the second quarter. Los Angeles had more turnovers (five) than field goals (four on 17 attempts) during the quarter.

"Tough game. That's it," said guard Jordan Clarkson, one of only two Lakers to score in double figures during the loss. "A loss is a loss."

The Lakers (16-32) have dropped six of their last seven games. Four of those losses have come by double digits, including a 40-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs and Sunday's historic humiliation.

Lakers power forward Julius Randle said his team should be embarrassed by the poor effort. There was not a consensus opinion in the locker room about whether the Lakers should simply move on from the loss as quickly as possible or try to use it for motivation.

"We've got to let it go," shooting guard Nick Young said. "It's a tough loss, but we can't dwell on it. We've still got, how many more games left? Thirty-something? Forty-something? We've just got to keep going. We can't let this one determine the whole year. We've got to keep fighting."

Rookie Brandon Ingram, who struggled as the starting point guard in place of injured starterD'Angelo Russell, offered a dissenting view.

"It's something for us to remember as these games go on," said Ingram, who finished with six points on 2-of-12 shooting, with no assists and three turnovers while being a team-worst minus-45 in 36 minutes. "We let it hurt now and keep getting better and always remember the results."

The Lakers are only one win away from matching last season's win total. They got off to a surprising 10-10 start, briefly fueling hope that they could compete for a playoff spot well ahead of the expected timetable, but are only 6-22 since then.

Walton, however, firmly insisted that he has no concerns about his team's culture despite the losses stacking up and Sunday's horrible performance.

"Not at all," Walton said. "We're headed in the right direction. We're going to get to where we need to go and I'm excited about it. It's just a bad game, one you face the pain and you use it to motivate you and move on."

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